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Old 07-11-2008, 08:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Va Beach
Posts: 104

V-strom 650 - '07 Suzuki DL-650 V-strom
90 day: 55.03 mpg (US)

07 Focus ZXW - '07 Ford Focus ZXW SE
90 day: 30.09 mpg (US)
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In retrospect I had assumed my father had been somewhat iconoclastic in adding an extra gas tank to his Beetle.

Clearly, this was more common than I had imagined.

The time around the 1973 oil crisis was a fairly stunning time to be learning to drive... cars were changing rapidly both from legislative requirements and the market forces that came with fuel price volitility.

Oh and how the cars suffered...

As kids we all knew what lay under the hood of the car we drove... I had a girlfriend who could swiftly lift the hood of her intersection-stalled car, then swiftly remove the air filter and finally jab the carb's butterfly valve with the thrust of a screwdriver... that she was never without.

My best friend knew that the sound his mother's coveted Ford Country Squire made when you tried to start it... like it was trying to ingest a squirrel... was the bendex failing. This big vinyl-covered station wagon arrived with an interesting twist to it's 'three-way' tailgate... it had a 'fourth' way: once falling completely off while they were driving. His mother loved that car, but it was way more Country Squirrel than Country Squire.

The quality of each succeeding VW my dad bought was worse than the one before. Where once the Beetle had a vinyl interior of legendary quality -- by the seventies the vinyl piping of one of my dad's brand new Beetle's driver's seat separated the night he drove it home from the dealer. The safety and emissions laws became obtuse: that Beetle had a tiny spotlight under the dashboard to illuminate the between-the-seats heating control levers (!) to meet "illuminated control" legislation... along with seatbelt interlocks and massively barbaric contraptions to meet all-new emissions controls. You simply did not want to look at an engine compartment it had become so incoherant.

If you did not live in through the seventies, and drive a seventies car, you honestly have no idea how crappy a car can be.

I hear comments today about certain cars being crappy -- a disparagement routinely targeted, for example, at the Aveo.

My bad, but I look at the Aveo and see a fairly well-equipped, well-designed, decent -- if modest -- car!

Last edited by akcapeco; 07-11-2008 at 10:05 AM..
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